Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘Healing’

My Latest Adventure

In the middle of last week, fully (almost) recovered from my birthday blowout and some intense yard overhauling, I had a chance to do something I’ve only had the opportunity to do a few times before. I met a former blogger, Jan, from https://mommermom.wordpress.com/. She is no longer blogging but we have kept in touch through email and snail mail. I received a card several weeks ago that she had a little time before her flight from Portland airport and would I be available to meet? So, of course, I rearranged an appointment to go meet her in person. She was with a friend from college meeting other friends from college so it was lively conversation.

Satiated with lunch at Beaches

We had a lovely lunch and of course, we all had lots of questions. Jan no longer has a reliable computer and felt blogging was taking too much precious time from her large family. We all know how that is with more commitments than time.

Lunch was good, conversation was better.

Jan’s friend is a retired librarian and asked why I blog. I explained why I started blogging when I became so ill that I could do little else than read or write. No television, no sewing, no driving and barely being able to ride or walk without tipping over were a fact of life for well over two years. The more I thought about it the more I realized I didn’t fully answer that question. Why do I still blog when it crosses my mind like so many other’s whose posts I enjoyed, to give it up?

My birthday t-shirt. So very true

The simple answer is in the last line of the September t-shirt I wear. I have a mouth I can’t control. I’m a blabbermouth, a storyteller, a communicator. I love to converse and I will tell you about myself to get you to tell me about you. There is a level of trust involved here and I’ve never been let down and work hard at not letting anyone else down.

Thank you, Jan.

I don’t have time to blog. I also need this community more than it needs me. As I’ve healed from one profound illness and face another, bloggers have helped sustain a positive focus. Giving this up is like cutting a main artery. Friends I have made here will always be friends in my heart. The people I meet virtually all have good hearts and are trustworthy. Getting to meet them in person is an extra bonus. So, thank you Jan, for including me in your visit to the area. You and your friend were a delight to spend time with and I felt like we had know each other for years.

Asters in full bloom

Have you had chances to meet fellow bloggers? How was your experience of it?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Why Go Back?

The last three weeks have been more than a little hectic for reasons than I can’t explain here. It started when my friend of almost 20 years finally called to let me know she was back out of the hospital again. It’s like a catastrophe cloud follows her everywhere. She went to Hawaii last year and at the end of a wonderful trip, she stepped down off the bus wrong and broke several bones in her wrist, ankle and shoulder. Just when she was finally on the mend, she would take another fall. I mentioned to my son that I would like to go see her because she sounded so disheartened, I didn’t know if she had it in her to recover one more time. My son and his wife decided to buy a plane ticket for me to go see her.

An earlier trip she made to Hawaii

I knew we would not be visiting for long periods and on seeing my friend, a one-hour visit seemed almost too long. She is in a beautiful assisted living facility with 24-hour help. It was a lovely apartment and so expensive I couldn’t even stay one month, much less the year she had been there. She had another fall the week before I got there. So, on seeing her fatigue, I said my goodbye after the hour visit and promised to stop by on my way back to the Phoenix airport.

She felt much better at our second visit. Always the smile.

Then we headed up the mountain where the rest of the visit was with my son and see what they had done to the house and the pre-school his wife owns. This was going to be an interesting trip. I left there nine years ago after becoming debilitated by an extreme case of Bells Palsy and had no desire to ever return.

Gracie making herself comfortable on the sofa bed

Gracie trying to figure out why I was there. She had plenty of staff already.

Since being diagnosed with IPF, I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle the altitude of 6000-7200 ft. It was harder than expected. I was able to visit with a few other old friends and we tried some new and old favorite restaurants. They are a world apart from what I have here in Oregon.

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I thought about the home I had up in the Arizona mountains where it was often difficult to get things to grow. My son drove us by my old home and every tree I had planted there was still present and thriving. We had even gone into the forest and dug out a bundle of three tiny trees growing together that stood little chance of thriving where they grew. I didn’t want to damage any roots by separating them so they came all together. Three different conifers all growing as one tree still thriving after 19 years.

These trees were knee height when I planted them.

The house has changed, with an expensive copper roof and the little wishing well my husband  built getting one too. There were small changes like a house being built-in the empty acre directly across the drive from our house. I preferred looking at the empty lot of trees.

The new house in the lot across from my old house. Everything changes.

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The manufactured home next door that my mother had owned still had everything I planted there as well. It did my heart good to see the stand of Aspen trees, butterfly bushes, lilacs, an assortment of evergreens all still standing. It was a lot to walk away from but I could no longer manage it all in the condition I was in.

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That seems to be the case again now, so more changes are taking place. Two days after arriving home from my trip, my son and his wife arrived at my door with a borrowed pickup truck. Stay tuned.

Have you gone back to an old homestead? What feelings washed over you?

“Tears are words that need to be written.” ~Paulo Coelho

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

 

 

Up to No Good

Up to no good. That’s the answer I usually give when someone asks me what I’m up to these days. Ask my daughter the same question and she will give the flip answer, “5’7”.  She’s kind of a smart a**. How do you answer a question like that quickly?  I can’t.

I’ve been almost busy and mostly lazy. Catching up on reading blogs, or more accurately, trying to, but they come in a lot faster than I can read and comment.

The work on the house had slowed for a while. In between rainstorms, my son built a side yard gate. I held pieces and parts while he put it together, then I stained it. Holding pieces and parts is important work.

I wanted it to look like it's always been there

I wanted it to look like it’s always been there

We started painting the house again. My son did the high stuff on the roof line. I took the rest. It’s slow work with a paintbrush. I finally got a small roller so I can move a bit faster on the rest but the cold rain slowed us down.

Everyone should have a kid on the roof. Take a look underneath.

Everyone should have a kid on the roof. Take a look underneath.

Not before we tried our hand at using the paint sprayer for the underside of the back porch roof. Talk about a messy job. We tented the whole area and he wore a respirator so as not to breathe in over-spray. Days later, he says he could still smell the paint. It’s the only way to paint large areas over your head. More progress soon.

I have pulled lots of weeds and will get to them again soon. The entire upper hill was covered in them but I managed to clear enough to plant 3 lilac bushes. Planted a few daisies and more ground cover including some a generous neighbor gave me. She was clearing something out of her perfect yard that is called Snow on the Mountain and it’s supposed to be a good ground cover as well. Some of my hyacinth bulbs are coming up in spite of the fact I may have planted them too late.

I’d be outside working or working on a sewing project but it all has to wait a bit longer. I had cataract surgery on Thursday in hopes of correcting the blurriness in the only eye that’s useful. So far so good. It will take a bit of time to heal but I should be able to resume my work in a couple of days so I’m watching the weather for the perfect temp to paint and weed. Meanwhile, quilting and writing are on the back burner, simmering, smoldering, ready to ignite. Since my glasses aren’t working now, a new pair will be ordered in about 6 weeks when the healing is complete Good thing I can make the print big so I can at least keep working here.

 

So what are you up too? I hope it’s something interesting and fun or at least tall.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

In Search of Lost Arts

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not writing as much these days. I’ve been busy reading all the blogging 101 posts everyone else has been doing. It’s a tough job but someone must take on the task. I can’t seem to catch up no matter how many I read in a day. I’m also trying to finish projects that are stacked up in every corner of the house.

The teacup quilt is finished, the Christmas quilt from my quilt group has the top complete with names embroidered on each square the person made. My memory is starting to fade so putting it in writing is essential. I’ve made progress on another quilt I’ve started and of course starting something entirely new.

This is what happens when we each make 2 squares.

This is what happens when we each make 2 squares.

What's hanging over the other side. Can you find my blocks? This one will go to safe house when quilted by someone else.

What’s hanging over the other side. Can you find my blocks? This one will go to safe house when quilted by someone else.

Last weekend was filled with surprises. A quilting friend invited me to the local quilt show at the senior center. Sure, no problem. In and out in an hour. The surprise was that Bill Volckening, a longtime collector of antique and vintage American quilts, specializing in the identification, documentation, valuation, calling himself a quilt magnet. was giving an hour long talk. He owns quilts that are exhibited all over the country and the world. What an education I received that day. We have come a long way in fiber arts but the original art form was quite fascinating. I’m hoping it’s an art form we can keep growing through the generations.

The quilt magnet himself

The quilt magnet himself

Very colorful with history. Mr. V is a local

Very colorful with history. Mr. V is a local

Vintage Red/white/Blue with hand embroidery

Vintage Red/white/Blue with hand embroidery

Free form from the best

Free form from the best

There were so many wonderful quilts done by local quilters that I just have to pare them down to a few of the more unusual.

A mini quilt with pearls and buttons.

A mini quilt with pearls and butons.

This one is for Alys. Cat and Mouse. Only the cat is called Mouse.

This one is for Alys. Cat and Mouse. Only the cat is called Mouse.

Can you see the screening it's done on?

Can you see the the screening it’s done on?

Corsets of course and 3 dimensional just for some fun.

Corsets of course and 3 dimensional just for some fun.

I rarely go out at night but my daughter found an event at the New Renaissance bookstore in downtown Portland she wanted to attend and wondered if I’d be interested. We’d have a quick bite to eat first. New Ren is a metaphysical bookstore and our favorite hands down. It’s dangerous in there for both of us.

We spend hours in there. It smells good too.

We spend hours in there. It smells good too.

We watched her documentary on DVD and listened to the film maker explain her need to make it and a little about the book. There are a lot of healing arts that are struggling for survival against big pharma and modern medicine. Like her, I seriously hope we can save the healing plants that are being bulldozed under and look at augmenting ancient healing practices with current modalities. I promise you, if I’m in an accident, I want someone who can patch me together again. But I’m very much into self-healing naturally as much as possible. I found the author-film maker delightful and honest. We had our book autographed to both my daughter and myself. Now to get it read.

Talking Story book.

Talking Story book.

Marie-Rose Phan-Le' Talking her story

Marie-Rose Phan-Le’ Talking her story

This coming weekend will be filled as well with a WordPress event, again in downtown Portland OR. An all-day series of mini seminars. I don’t think there will be much picture-taking there. More like a lot of note taking. I’ll let you know. So now I have to get back to my reading.

Do you have any interest in the lost arts? Creative or healing arts?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Way to Spread the Love

This week I have been a bit unsettled. Not sure what the cause is but it may be many things rolled into one. February itself is a rough month in many ways. I sent a birthday card to my last husband only to find out he had spent his birthday in the hospital and was still struggling to breathe on his own again. We are all sending our best thoughts his way.

My heart is a little raveled these days. Slightly worn.

My heart is a little raveled these days. Slightly worn.

Then on the 11th, I had my five year anniversary of the onset of Bells Palsy. Who would think the effects of it wouldn’t go away? It left me a little blue to know I haven’t unpuzzled the riddle to complete healing and recovery from the damage it left in it’s wake. But giving up is not an option.

Red and white courthouse steps pattern seemed appropriate for this month contribution. Too bad they were all 1/2 inch too small. Must redo at least one more. I haven't been entirely idle

Red and white courthouse steps pattern seemed appropriate for this month contribution. Too bad they were all 1/2 inch too small. Must redo at least one more. I haven’t been entirely idle

Then there is Valentine’s Day coming up. What can I say about that? That day has never been a big one in my life. All my married years it was of little significance. We had more pressing matters to deal with though I had fun doing valentine’s with my children. So now, with no significant other in my life to celebrate, how do you spread the love in the middle of an oddly balmy winter? I’m asking a lot of questions here, I know.

My hearts all red and fuzzy.

My hearts all red and fuzzy.

I’ve decided that I can spread the love by sharing a few new blogs that are just starting out. I know how overwhelming it was when first starting out. It’s still a learning process. Everyone seems willing to help. All you have to do is ask.

The Contented Crafter was the instigator of random acts of kindness that was a global endeavor. You saw many of the things I received as a result. Now I get to show you what I sent out and was finally received all the way in Tasmania. Stop by The Road to Serendipity and have a look. She’s been so hard at work there.

Before it was over, I made 3 rows. I couldn't let anything go to waste.

Before it was over, I made 3 rows. I couldn’t let anything go to waste.

 

A couple of fellow writing classmates have started blogs that are read worthy. The photography is excellent as is the writing. My friend, Sabine of In Cahoots with Muddy Boots, blogs here on Word press, my friend, Missy of Isabella Bird is here. So I’m going to try and find a few other ways to spread little bits of love around. Missy had some interesting ideas on what love looks like.

Hope your day is happy no matter how or if you celebrate.

Hope your day is happy no matter how or if you celebrate.

What ideas do you have for sharing little bits of love? What does love look like to you?

From my heart to yours,

Happy Valentines Day
Marlene Herself

In Search of My Dream Reader

One of the first assignments from Blogging 101 was to write a blog to our dream reader. At the time I was unable to define that idea. Who was my dream reader? Heck, I was happy to have anyone read anything I wrote.

This blog was originated to find help or someone else on the planet who had Bells Palsy as long as I’d had it or possibly someone who could help me get rid of it. That was almost three years ago and I’d already had Bells almost two years. It will be five years in February. I wanted contact with the outside world since I was at the time virtually housebound, unable to drive anymore or walk without a cane since my balance had become impaired by the illness.

My dream reader in no longer someone who can help me but more someone to whom I can forward the help and inspiration I’ve received here. Now, I want to share what I’ve learned from this very weird illness and the spiritual growth that has come out of it. My daughter said it was to teach me “don’t just do something, sit there” which is the complete opposite of who I am and how we were raised. Doing something takes more effort than ever. Before I was ill, my dog never laid on my lap. The lap never stayed put. Once Bells started running my life, I had more lap time. Not as much anymore but that’s why I write with a lap-top. So I will sit there and do nothing (but write).

When I read Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life I looked up the illness of Bells Palsy. Under probable cause for the illness it said “extreme control over anger. Unwillingness to express feelings.” I have 3 copies of that book and was a walking, talking example of that probable cause. I was a very ANGRY person and no one knew. The anger is now gone and I’m quicker to express my true feelings, gently.

There are many books that have helped me along the way but none have been as helpful at restoring my health as my readers and fellow bloggers. At one time I felt alone in the world without support. This gypsy who never had roots has them in the blogging community now. Out of 160 followers, probable only a dozen actually read my posts and that is who I write for. They cheer me on and we wish each other well. We have kindness, empathy and a desire to connect in common. We learn from one another and teach our little bits of wisdom. You know who you are. You are my dream readers. My heart is filled with gratitude for you.

gratitude heart

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Garden

I’ve had my glass of wine to celebrate. Only one tiny glass but enough to say “Yay!” I’ve been looking for a home in my area for almost two years now. I have a very tiny budget since I’m no longer married and have only Social Security and 1/12 of my ex’s pension. After 24 years of marriage that was quite a step back. We sold our house a year ago for what we paid for it 12 years prior and I got half the equity to invest. I promise, it wasn’t a lot but better than nothing at all.

Geraniums I planted at my son's 2 years ago. Fencing was to keep housemates dog from sleeping on them.

Geraniums I planted at my son’s 2 years ago. Fencing was to keep housemates dog from sleeping on them.

You know the thing about money sitting in the bank doing nothing? It seems to wander away like a child unattended. I have a tendency to want to be of help to those struggling and enjoy going out and seeing life from other perspectives. It was starting to dwindle as I was searching high and low for a home to purchase. With my meager budget, even a foreclosure was more than I could afford. By the time I purchased the home, I would have nothing left to bring one up to loveable standards. My standards are no longer all that high.

In my son's yard. Weeds have their place in nature. I'm looking forward to my own...ladybugs.

In my son’s yard. Weeds have their place in nature. I’m looking forward to my own…ladybugs.

All I wanted was a place to house myself and guests comfortably, a porch to invite neighbors to sit a spell and converse, and a garden area. The kitchen was inconsequential. Room for books and creativity were more important than food. I’d like to grow some of that food and composting is big on my list.

When I finally made peace with what I could afford and manage on my own as a senior citizen, the place popped up. It’s a manufactured home in a well-established and permanent park. I did my homework here. So many have been sold out from under residence that I had no desire to be caught in that fiasco. There are lots of rules about keeping homes up and cared for. It’s three miles from where I am now and the neighbors seem to keep an eye out for each other without getting in each others business. Yes, I checked that out too. No barking dogs at night and I’m at the back of the park backing up to forest with no one behind me.

Not my furniture yet. The front doors almost all face sideways. Not good Feng Shui but we will deal.

Not my furniture yet. The front doors almost all face sideways. Not good Feng Shui but we will deal.

The garden space is minimal but I’m in my later 60’s so that will be perfect. Just enough to do a little gardening and enjoy the nice covered porches. There is some work to do and I’m looking forward to making it my own. I looked at the photos of the Contented Crafter’s redo on her place and am very inspired by the fresh, clean, cheerful look of her place. I can only hope to achieve similarly cheerful results when all is said and done.

This is all the grassy area. The rest is terrace to the woods May lose the grass to planting.

This is all the grassy area. The rest is terrace to the woods May lose the grass to planting.

I’ve made my offer, and now waiting for all the paperwork to be finalized. Of course, I’ve seen sales fall apart at the last-minute, but I’m optimistic that all will go well. So it looks like I will be more than busy for the next month or so as I pack, unpack, paint, clean and clear out. It has always been my dream to own my own home that I had some say about. This is nothing fancy, but I’m looking forward to the peacefulness in this place that feels ever so healing.

I planted the mint but my son wasn't sure about the plant in the middle. Yes, it's a weed.

I planted the mint but my son wasn’t sure about the plant in the middle. Yes, it’s a weed.

My apartment was as good as they get. It was a wonderful apartment. The layout was perfect and location ideal. It’s served its purpose. I’ll miss the ducks wandering about most of all.

Do you dream of gardens in your sleep or hope for things that seem to have eluded your for oh, so long?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself